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The Official Site of the Columbus Blue Jackets

2013 NHL Mock Draft

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets Draft Central 2013

1 COL Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax (QMJHL) I don't think Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are bluffing. They need high-end talent and Roy knows MacKinnon well, having coached against him in the QMJHL. MacKinnon can slot into the Avs' lineup right away and potentially bolster their offense.
2 FLA Seth Jones, D,
Portland (WHL)
It appears likely that Jones will "fall" to the Panthers at No. 2 overall, and I don't envision GM Dale Tallon passing over Central Scouting's top-ranked skater. Jones and Erik Gudbranson give the Panthers a duo of talented defense prospects that can make an impact for years to come.
3 TBL Jonathan Drouin, LW,
Halifax (QMJHL)
There's a lot to like about Drouin, and if there's a guy to learn from about being a pro, it's Martin St. Louis. With Marty getting older (but no less productive, mind you), now might be the time for Steve Yzerman to add another offensive weapon. Drouin's dynamic playmaking ability is a pretty good fit for Tampa Bay.
4 NSH Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara (FIN) It sure seems as if Barkov is the guy David Poile is zeroing in on, especially given the likelihood all top three picks unfold as predicted. Barkov was one of the best players in the Finnish Elite League and is only 17 years old. He looks primed to be an impact NHL player, and soon.
5 CAR Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa (OHL)
Monahan just feels like the type of player who would excel under head coach Kirk Muller. He's smart, competitive and isn't afraid to make mistakes for the sake of trying to make a play. It will be hard for Carolina to pass over Valeri Nichushkin here, but Monahan might be the best fit for the Canes.
6 CGY Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (RUS) In the event Nichuskin falls to Jay Feaster and the Flames at No. 6, I can't see them passing up the opportunity to draft a kid who could make a difference right away. He's a big, rangy, skilled forward who has the size and talent to step in this upcoming season. Nichuskin would be a big piece of Calgary's rebuild.
7 EDM Darnell Nurse, D,
Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Make no bones about it: the Oilers need defense, and if Nurse is on the board at No. 7, expect GM Craig MacTavish to jump all over it. Nurse is a strong two-way defenseman that has been compared to Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, and if he develops in that type of player, he'll really help the Oilers.
8 BUF Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat (WHL) I'm going out on a limb here, but I think the Sabres could really use a  guy like Shinkaruk: great skater, high-skill and a player that doesn't need to play in the NHL right away. In a couple of years, this guy's going to be a big-time player and Buffalo would be wise to grab him at No. 8.
9 NJD Elias Lindholm, C, Byrnas (SWE)
Does Lindholm not seem like your ideal Lou Lamoriello player? Intelligent, no-nonsense and extremely competitive with high hockey IQ. If the young Swede is still on the board at No. 9 - and I think he will be - this would be a fantastic selection for the Devils, who need offensive talent in the worst way.
10 DAL Rasmus Ristolainen, D,
GM Jim Nill's first selection with Dallas will be a great one if he can land Ristolainen, a 6-foot-4 defenseman with great defensive instincts and a solid all-around game. Can he play in the NHL this year? Some scouts think so, but the Stars will be patient as their blue line needs long-term depth.
11 PHI Ryan Pulock, D,
Brandon (WHL)
In the market for a tough defenseman with offensive upside? Paul Holmgren and the Flyers are, which leads me to believe they'll take a long look at Pulock with the No. 11 overall pick. He's a got an NHL-caliber shot and skates very well, which has several NHL teams interested in the Manitoba native.
12 PHX Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) Scouts rave about Zykov's game, and for good reason: he's a playmaker who possesses a sneaky good shot, can make things happen at top speed and is a right-handed shot. He was the QMJHL's leading rookie scorer in 2012-13 with 40 goals and 75 points.
13 WPG Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski (QMJHL) Gauthier's mature game and 6-foot-3 frame make him an attractive asset for NHL GMs looking for long-term depth down the middle, and many scouts believe Gauthier has the potential to grow into a very dependable second-line center in the future. The Jets need centers, and Gauthier could be just what they need down the road.
14 CBJ Max Domi, C/LW, London Knights (OHL)
There's no denying two things about Domi: he's got elite skill, and he's not the type of player to "play to his size." Though listed at 5-foot-8, Domi plays a big man's game and can score goals in bunches. He might not be NHL-ready for a couple of years, but Domi would be a nice add for the Blue Jackets at No. 14.
15 NYI Mirco Mueller, D, Everett (WHL) The Islanders could very well lose one talented Swiss defenseman this offseason and draft another. With the departure of Mark Streit, the Islanders step up here and pick Mueller, a highly-regarded Swiss blue liner who played with Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Murray in Everett. Mueller has a similar style of game: steady, good positioning and can skate the puck out of trouble.
16 CBJ
(From MIN)
Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL) Big bonus here (no pun intended) for the Sabres to select Zadorov, a hulking defenseman at 6-foot-5 who plays a game mature beyond his years. Zadorov projects to be a very good shutdown defenseman in the NHL who plays a physical game - exactly what the Sabres need on their back end.
17 OTT Zach Nastasiuk, RW, Owen Sound (OHL)
Scouts love Nastasiuk's two-way game and his dependablility in all three zones, and the offensive numbers are a nice bonus. He's got good size, hockey sense and a knack for always being on the right side of the puck. A nice pickup for Bryan Murray and the Senators, who find a player that fits their mold.
18 DET Bo Horvat, C, London Knights (OHL) It wouldn't surprise me (or anyone, really) if Horvat is a top-15 selection in the draft, but the more I thought about it, I can definitely see him being available at No. 18 - but that's where the "fall" stops. The Red Wings get a player who's a relentless competitor, a great teammate and a guy who's all about making the "team" play first.
19 CBJ
(From NYR)
Alexander Wennberg, Djurgarden (SWE-2) Smarts, skill, experience. Wennberg has all three and has played two seasons against grown men with Djurgarden in Sweden. He's an electric offensive player and scored 46 points last season - not bad for a kid in pro hockey. He's an excellent selection for Columbus with the Rangers' pick.
20 SJS Shea Theodore, D, Seattle (WHL)
A stud defense prospect would be excellent for the Sharks, and Theodore fits the bill. He's a terrific player in transition and scouts rave about his shot from the point, two attributes highly valued in today's game. San Jose picking him at No. 20 gives them a big-minute defenseman who can develop at his own pace.
21 TOR Ian McCoshen, D, Waterloo (USHL) Committed to Boston College for the upcoming season, McCoshen is a strong prospect who defends top players well and, like Theodore and Pulock, has an above-average shot.
22 CGY
(From STL)
Anthony Mantha, RW, Val D'Or (QMJHL) One of the most polarizing prospects in this draft, Mantha draws people in because of his raw goal-scoring ability. He scored 50 goals this year in the QMJHL and is an all-out offense type of player. The knock? He needs to learn the defensive side of the game, but he'll have time with a rebuilding Flames club.
23 WSH Ryan Hartman, C/RW, Plymouth (OHL)
Hartman helped his cause with a strong performance at the 2013 World Junior tournament in Russia, where he was a big part of Team USA's gold medal victory. He's an aggressive, combative forward who loves to mix it up - but can also score goals and create offense.
24 VAN Curtis Lazar, C/RW, Edmonton (WHL) Lazar may not fall to Vancouver at No. 24 (I'm no expert, mind you) but he's a great add for the Canucks in my make-believe mock draft. He's a power forward in the making, with great size and puck skills to go along with a bit of a mean streak. Just what Vancouver needs.
25 MTL Zachary Fucale, G, Halifax (QMJHL) Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said this weekend that it's likely he selects a goaltender at this draft, so why select the best prospect available? Fucale is young, athletic and has some development ahead, but he's a  top-flight player with a bright future.
26 ANA Robert Hagg, D, Modo Jr. (SWE)
We got our first good look at Hagg during the World Junior, where he was one of Sweden's most surprising performers. He's regarded as a two-way defenseman with a good shot (have we said that yet in this mock draft?), and could very well be a steal at the lower end of the first round.
27 CBJ
(From LAK)
Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor (OHL) Rychel is a lot of what the Blue Jackets like: speed, hockey sense, tenacious. Perhaps a longer-term prospect than others, but definitely a viable selection at No. 27. He proved in the OHL that he can score and has the hockey pedigree going for him, as well.
28 CGY
(From PIT)
Adam Erne, LW, Quebec (QMJHL) Erne's flashy and quick, two qualities you have to like when drafting and building for the future. With a year or two of development and experience at the junior level, this kid could be a really good player in the NHL. He has all the tools to make it happen.
29 DAL
(From BOS)
Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Regina (WHL) Klimchuk was a useful player for the Regina Pats, killing penalties and playing a variety of roles. Scouts think he's a sure-bet third or fourth-line player in the NHL, which isn't a bad thing if picked late in the first round. Does he have the skills to play higher in the lineup? Absolutely, and that's what makes him appealing.
30 CHI Joshua Morrissey, D, Prince Albert (WHL)
Another smooth-skating defenseman who excels in transition, Morrissey has often been compared to Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith. Not bad company, right?

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